Ten years ago, the Inlander hit its 1,000th issue and moved its headquarters to an up-and-coming neighborhood called Kendall Yards. A young intern named Eli Francovich joined our team, who would go on to be the Spokesman-Review's outdoors editor and, earlier this year, publish an entire book on wolves (see our review on page 27). By 2014, three couples had gotten married thanks to our "I Saw You" section, which made for a swoon-worthy, Hallmark-esque Valentine's Day cover story. Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl, and the state suffered the Carlton Complex Fire, one of the biggest wildfires in Washington history, burning more than 250,000 acres, destroying 350 homes and causing nearly $100 million in damage.
IN THE NEWS
On Feb. 6, 2014, staff writers Heidi Groover and Jacob Jones wrote the first installment of STATE OF MIND, a series that investigated mental health support in the Inland Northwest. They examined how the health care system, police, jails and schools tried to address the growing needs of mental illness in our community. Groover, who is now at The Seattle Times, wrote about the call to expand police training for responding to mentally ill offenders. Jones, the current investigations editor at Crosscut, wrote that the Spokane County Jail was now the second-largest mental health facility in the state. But mostly, Groover and Jones centered the stories of daughters, mothers, brothers and friends who needed help, but too often struggled to receive it. Even though a decade has passed, we're still telling many of the same stories today.
Our culture writers were hobnobbing with celebrities 10 years ago. Not only did DAVID SEDARIS give a reading at Auntie's and ROBIN WILLIAMS perform at the Fox, but Inlander freelancer Ed Symkus scored a Q&A with ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER about his first lead role in a decade, then followed it up a few months later with an interview with JIM CARREY. But the movie stars couldn't always carry the big screen — in 2013, Spokane started saying goodbye to the IMAX in Riverfront Park, which was being outmaneuvered by a competing screen at the AMC theater in River Park Square.
ON THE COVER
In Pot We Trust. Even though voters approved Initiative 502 in 2012 to legalize weed, it wasn't until July 2014 that the Washington State Liquor Control Board finally licensed 24 retail stores to sell recreational cannabis. The Inlander celebrated with lots of graphs, charts, gadget recommendations and grower profiles, creating a "Beginner's Guide to Pot," which included photos of the first customers at Spokane Green Leaf, the first retail shop to open in Spokane. George Washington graced the cover with the headline "GREEN LIGHT," an American flag headband and sleepy, red eyes.
"From Spokane's South Hill to the top of the charts," the subhead read. In 2013, then-freelancer Seth Sommerfeld recounted seeing surprise headliners Macklemore and RYAN LEWIS at the Sasquatch! Festival launch party. Their single "Thrift Shop" was the number one song in America, and Lewis was suddenly the golden child of Spokane. Sommerfeld, who returned to the Inlander ranks in 2021 as our Music and Screen editor, delved into Lewis' upbringing in Young Life, his memorable trips to Manito Park and his first rock band in junior high. Lewis came back to Spokane two years later to film the music video for "Downtown," another chart-topping hit. This October, Lewis returns home again when he and Macklemore headline the Spokane Arena.